favorite hummus.

Happy Monday! We had a lovely day celebrating Staci and baby Chase yesterday, and I'll have some details to share later this week. For now, I have our favorite hummus recipe, which we enjoyed with a hazy sunset on Friday night.
In Friday's case, I topped it with some lightly salt-and-peppered halved grape tomatoes and thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers and red onion - a little something we picked up at Olive & Ivy in Scottsdale. I got the veggies prepped, threw them in a bowl and added a tiny drizzle of olive oil before letting them sit in the frig while I mixed up the hummus. The bite of onion is a great compliment to the creamy hummus.

Our favorite crispy-type treat is lightly toasted french bread that's been drizzled with olive oil and kosher salt. Nothing very exact: thinly slice a french bread loaf and brush very lightly with your favorite olive oil. Sprinkle bread with kosher salt. Bake on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until the bread is a lightly toasted golden brown.

If you get the bread sliced and in the oven before you start making the hummus, you'll have toasty bread just in time to chow down.

The Barefoot Contessa's Hummus
Yield: about 2 3/4 cups

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas or water
8 dashes of hot sauce

Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the garlic cloves until finely minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning and refrigerate until serving.

A couple of notes for any hummus virgins:
+ Depending on the size of your garlic cloves (and how much you love garlic), you may only need 2-3 cloves.
+ Same goes for hot sauce. Add to taste at the end if you're not a fan of spicy.
+ Tahini was hard for me to find on the first go 'round. Whole Foods came to the rescue, near the peanut butters.
+ Since homemade hummus can get a little dry in the following days, squeeze some lemon juice or add a sprinkle of water before serving.
+ This is a quick, easy recipe. Make this hummus once, and you can mix it up in 20 minutes or less, including bread toasting.

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